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barnburner
05-18-2011, 02:51 AM
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“Well I'll be dog-gone!”, yelled Will Carroll as he came out of the barn. “John David, it has surely been quite a spell since I've seen you. I kind of figured that you might just stay in the Marines after you left here.”
“That's still a possibility Will, but for now, I'm the Sheriff in Jubal.”
Other than having to change a flat tire, the trip out to Will's place had been a good trip. After shaking hands, we spent the better part of an hour as he showed me around the place, and we caught up on families and friends.
“Will, I need some information, and I need for you to keep what I'm asking under your hat, at least for awhile. I'm investigating Emma Roberts murder. I've been butting my head against a brick wall trying to find any kind of clue, and getting nowhere quick. However, Emma's mother finally confided in me that she believed Emma was involved in an affair of some sort, that she wanted kept secret. I need to find out if it's true or not. If it is, then I have a lead to follow.
I guess what I need from you is what you might know, yea or nay, in regards to Mrs. Roberts suspicions.”
Will removed his straw hat, and scratched the back of his head. “John David, Emma was a fine girl. I'd never be a part of gossip about her after she's gone to the grave. However, since her momma has confided in you, I suppose it's all right to tell you what I little I know.
I brushed away a horsefly that had been buzzing around my head. “Will, I never wanted to be sticking my nose into anyone's private life. However, the mayor seems more interested in preserving the image of the town than in solving her murder, so I've got it to do. Whatever you can give me, will help.”
“ Well, I don't have any real evidence, but my guess is that Emma's momma is right. I imagine you remember where I lived before I moved out here. I had that house right on the corner of Pine and W. 8th street. You know me, I never could sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. Lots of nights I'd just get up in the middle of the night, and sit in my front porch swing, looking at the stars and listening to the sounds of the night.
Well, in the year before Emma was killed, I saw her coming back into town very late on a number of occasions, and she was always alone. I noticed that she would always turn her head the other direction as she passed my house. Always had to laugh about that. I could have spotted her car anywhere. Whoever she bought that car from, had put on a set of hubcaps that were different from any I had ever seen before, or since. The funny thing about her coming back into town late, was that until that last year, she never left the house after 8pm at the very latest.”
“You probably remember that I used to play in a lot of checker matches around the area on Friday and Saturday nights. Well, I ran into her on three different occasions in other towns. Never saw her with anybody, but each time when she saw me, Emma immediately changed direction and ducked into the crowd. It was pretty plain she did not want to be seen. When you get back, talk to Suzy at the flower shop. She told me that someone was sending flowers to Emma fairly regularly. Strange as it sounds, she didn't know who it was. He had some strange way of doing it that left no trace of his identity. Been a while, and my memory is not as good as it used to be, but she can tell you.
Suzy never felt right about the way it was being done, and wanted someone to know just in case it resulted in trouble, so she confided in me.”
“All right, I'll check with Suzy. Can you think of anything else that might help?”
“I'm afraid not Sheriff....sure does seem strange calling you Sheriff... Seems just like yesterday, they were chasing you out of the Pool Hall because you were too young.”
I laughed and said, “It seems strange to me too Will. It's stranger still that Carl Elliot would have picked me for the job. My folks never did see eye to eye with him on some things, and of course, you know about the trouble between Cash and I. My guess is that he figured with my having been gone for four years, and being young, that he could probably control the Sheriff's office by picking me.”
Will chuckled, and said, “Now, I mean no disrespect, but I'd say you probably nailed it. I suppose the question is, why is being able to control the Sheriff important to him? I mean, he already runs the town, and has the money and power to do just about whatever he wants. You keep your eyes open John David. He has something up his sleeve, you can bet on that.”
As we shook hands, I agreed with him, and suggested that we get together soon and run a couple of trot-lines over on the St. Francis river. Will agreed, then started working on lighting his old pipe, as I backed my truck out, and then headed back to town.
After I entered the city limits, I turned and crossed the railroad tracks at the southern end of town, and stopped by Mrs. Roberts home. She was watering her flowers in the front yard when she saw me pull up. Setting the water can down, she walked over to my truck. Speaking quietly in case someone came around, I simply told her that her suspicions had been
echoed by a reliable source, and that as I got more information, I would keep her informed.
I looked into the flower shop as I drove past, to be sure there were no customers inside. Parking in the rear, I used the back entrance, and as I stepped inside, saw Suzy come out of the inside office.
“Well Hello John Da....I mean, Sheriff...”
“John David will do just fine Suzy. I've got something to ask you, and I don't want anybody to know about it, so start fixing up a flower order for some flowers to put on Emma Roberts grave.
If anyone, and I mean,anyone, asks what I was doing here, that's the story.”
Suzy, pulled out the paperwork and started an order form. “All right Sheriff, what do you need to know?”
“I'm investigating Emma Roberts killing. I went up to Will Carroll's place this morning, and he told me that you confided in him that someone had been sending flowers to Emma regularly, using a secret method. What can you tell me?”
Looking at the door to be sure nobody was about to walk in, Suzy said, “Yes, that's true. At least once every week or two, we would come to work and find an envelope in our drop box. Inside the envelope would be cash money, and a typewritten note telling us to send flowers to Emma at Elliot's Funeral Home, where she worked. There never was a reason given, nor was the note ever signed. To be honest, we didn't question it too much. For a year there, whomever was leaving those notes was our biggest customer.
I paid for the flowers and asked them to take them out and put them on Emma's grave with a card saying, “From the people of Jubal”. As I started towards the back door, Suzy stopped me.
“I don't know if it means anything... I mean, it's probably silly, but it's something I noticed from a woman's viewpoint. Many of those times I was the one that walked those flowers across the street to her. She would always say “Thank you”, but she never looked for a name, like she knew there would not be one. Plus, there would always be a little redness around her temples, as if she were embarrassed about something. Of course, I never tried to pry into her business, but my impression was that she was both happy and embarrassed to be getting those flowers.”
I thanked her, and went out to my truck. As I hit the ignition switch an idea hit me.

This chapter is too long for the size restrictions here.
The full chapter can be read here:
http://tinyurl.com/3legoqu

Caesar
05-18-2011, 03:32 AM
John David seems to really enjoy this Cluedo game. His image looks quite confident about being able to get some more information even if he's got nothing tangible as yet and the line appears interrupted.
He's got to look for someone in the places around who might recognize her and have seen her a few times with a guy. :rolleyes:

Alexandra
05-18-2011, 10:38 AM
Oh my gosh, hurry up Mike!:eek: Get the next chapter out to us!:eek::eek::):):):):):):)

semd74
05-18-2011, 11:52 AM
Very interesting story Mike...and I agree with Sandy !!! LOL

barnburner
05-18-2011, 12:54 PM
Caesar - Well John David is actually just an amateur, so he's sort of learning as he goes... :) I think he's picking up speed tho.... :):)

Sandy - I'm typing my fingertips to the nubbin trying to get it ready! :D:) Thank you :):)

Steve - I'm guessing with your coming from the south, that some aspects of this story rings familiar.:) Many thanks. :):)

Alexandra
05-18-2011, 01:47 PM
Well good gosh get those nubs a typin!:eek::p:D

coops
05-19-2011, 02:19 AM
I am completely hooked on this story Barnburner and looking forward to the next episode.:)

barnburner
05-19-2011, 02:44 AM
I am completely hooked on this story Barnburner and looking forward to the next episode.:)

Katie, I am delighted that you are enjoying the story. Barring something unexpected, I hope to have the next chapter posted today.
Thank you so much. :):)

mannafig
05-19-2011, 08:25 AM
I am still catching up dear Mike but the painting is fab:):)

barnburner
05-19-2011, 10:13 AM
Thank you so much Amanda. Very much appreciated. :):)

Jasminek
05-23-2011, 12:15 AM
Finally, a chance to read it. I have a problem kepping names straight which can mean that I have the gaps too wide between each chapter, will try to read faster.:)

barnburner
05-23-2011, 12:27 AM
Finally, a chance to read it. I have a problem kepping names straight which can mean that I have the gaps too wide between each chapter, will try to read faster.:)

Don't feel bad... I finally had to make a list of the name so I could refer back to some of them without having to go back thru the book... :D:)
Thanks for reading Jasmine. I appreciate it. :):)